PEOPLE of the STATE of ILLINOIS V. MARK BUNKER
OPENING TRANSCRIPTS, 2-05-01
CASE NO. OOMCl-217168
STATE OF ILLINOIS
COUNTY OF COOK
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS COUNTY DEPARTMENT - MUNICIPAL DIVISION
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff,
-V- No. OOMCl-217168
EXCERPT OF REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS of the trial before the Honorable WILLIAM P. O'MALLEY, Judge of said Court, on the 5th day of February, 2001.
APPEARANCES: HON. RICHARD M. DEVINE, State's Attorney of Cook County, by MS. CHERYL WRONKIEWICZ and MS. BRANDY KING, Assistants State's Attorneys, on behalf of the Plaintiff; MS. JULIE AIMEN and MR. DENNIS de VLAMING, on behalf of the Defendant.
Grace Brennan C.S.R. 84-1918 Official Court Reporter
February 5, 2001
Voir Dire 14
Opening Statement by Ms. Wronkiewicz 111
Opening Statement by Mr. de Vlaming 113
BY MS. WRONKIEWICZ
Thank you, Judge. Good afternoon. The individuals who own or rent property have certain rights in that property. One of those rights is to restrict access to their property from people who are not welcome there and that's what this whole case is about.
The facts of this case are actually very simple and the evidence will show that on January 25 of the year 2000, Mark Bunker, the Defendant, was not welcome at the Church of Scientology.
You will hear from Mary Anne Ahmad who will tell you that she works for the Church of Scientology and she will tell you that the property located at 3011 North Lincoln is occupied by the Church of Scientology. She will also tell you that Mark Bunker wasn't welcome there.
Well, on January 25, he showed up there anyway and he was met in the doorway by two off-duty Chicago police officers and he tried to walk in to the property. Well, these two police officers told him, you are not welcome here. You have to leave.
And did he leave? No. So they had to tell him again. You have to leave. You are not welcome at this property. Once again the Defendant did not leave. So, finally, a third time the Defendant was told he was not welcome there and yet again he did not leave that property.
So at that point after refusing yet again to not leave the property, he was placed under arrest. And you will hear from those police officers tomorrow.
You will also hear that the Defendant did not arrive at the Church of Scientology alone. He carried with him a huge video camera and while the Defendant was not cooperating with the police officers, when they told him he had to leave, the video camera fell to the ground and into the street.
So these off-duty police officers will tell you that they called for back-up and they placed the Defendant under arrest and then they went to go look for his video camera and they found his video camera in the hands of an individual named William Zizic and they asked Mr. Zizic for the video camera. He didn't want to give it up. In fact, the officers will tell you they actually had to take the camera from Mr. Zizic.
However, based on the testimony that you are going to hear from the police officers, the off- duty police officers in this case, my partner and I are very confident that you will find the Defendant guilty of criminal trespass to real property to criminal trespass to land because once Mark Bunker was told by the off-duty police officers that he had to leave and he refused to leave, he committed a crime and those police officers acting as agents of the Church had a right to tell him to leave and we are confident that you will find the Defendant guilty. Thank you.
THE COURT: You may proceed.
OPENING STATEMENT BY MR. de VLAMING
Members of the jury, Mark Bunker is on trial today for criminal trespass. What you are going to learn from the evidence of this case is Mr. Bunker is from the State of Florida. He was contacted by two individuals, both of which are dentists in our town, named Dr. William Zizic and Dr. Barbara Zizic.
They were members of the Church of Scientology. They were trying for over a year to get back $100,000 that they had given to the Church for courses. They were unsuccessful in getting their money back.
They contacted a group that Mr. Bunker belongs to in an effort to help them get their money back so they can leave the Church of Scientology. They contacted Mr. Bunker and asked him to come into town because he is a videographer for an organization in Florida. He is a producer of documentaries.
You will see the video camera used in this case because it has a great deal of relevance. It's one of those large video camera made by the Sony Corporation for filming documentaries. In other words, it's not a little camcorder. It's one of those you mount on your shoulder.
When he came into town, he was given a briefing by the Zizics and they asked him if he, Mr. Bunker, would please accompany them to the Church of Scientology because they were going to discuss the return of that hundred-thousand dollars. She wanted to have him present so that he could document what was being said, what was being discussed, so that things would go smoothly.
When they arrived at the Church on the 25th of January, what happened was they parked their vehicle and they were coming around the side of the sidewalk area. What you are going to see is this is a photograph of the area and you will find that they were coming down this way, if you can see that. They were coming down this way walking on the middle of the sidewalk.
What you are going to learn is that Dr. William Zizic was first -- I won't say first in line. He was the first one. His wife was behind him, Barbara Zizic and Mark Bunker with a video camera perched on his shoulder was the third one in line.
As they walked down the sidewalk, you will find out what they did is they turned this corner. You will see where this says Dianetics. That's Church of Scientology right here. Actually, both these entrance ways have to do with Scientology; but it's this entrance way they ended up going in. That's this one.
As they turned, Dr. William Zizic was the first one in line and he put his hand on the door handle. Barbara was approximately four feet behind him. Mark was a good four feet behind her and he was standing somewhere in the area of the middle of the sidewalk.
He then, Mark now, Mr. Bunker, now says to -- makes a comment to her about why they are present to start the film rolling and start the documentary. As she turned to answer him, two men came running out from this direction. Mr. Bunker has his eye up to the lens and he sees this blur come in front of him and two men grab him, one from one side and one from the other side. They have plain clothes on. They have no indicia of who they are. They have nothing that says police. They have no badge out.
He goes, what are you doing? Marks yells, what are you doing? What are you doing? They yell. They yell at him and there is a tussle right here for the camera. The officer yells, turn that camera off. Turn that camera off. Mr. Bunker then knows that the film is rolling and what you are going to see tomorrow when we give a demonstration to you is there is a little red light on the front of the camera when you hit the record button. The red light comes on. Very significant in this case.
Mr. Bunker then wants the camera to continue rolling. He has no idea who is on top of him, no idea who is grabbing him and he pulls the camera around so they can't get a hold of the camera. He knows it has to keep rolling or he wants it to keep rolling.
Finally, one of the officers grabs his thumb, pulls it down. Mr. Bunker puts the camera down. It's either that or drop it. The officer pulls his thumb back and he let's go of the camera. Within 10, 15 seconds, Dr. William Zizic who will testify as well as Dr. Barbara Zizic watching the whole thing will testify what happened and where it happened. Dr. Zizic then picks up the camera and aims it and aims it right at the police and aims it at what they are doing to him, captures the arrest on there, captures the comments.
Dr. Barbara Zizic is saying, who are you? What are you? They say, we are Chicago police. She says, show me some ID. The one officer opens up his ID and the face is scratched off. She says, that's a fake ID. That's a fake ID. What is your name? He says, my name is Joe Blow. That's what her testimony is going to be tomorrow when you hear from her.
So Dr. Zizic has got the camera. As soon as they arrest Mark, which is right by the street now, they arrest him over in this area, they put him in handcuffs.
Yes, Dr. William Zizic has the camera. Give me that camera. Give me that camera. They are yelling to Mr. Bunker, turn that camera off. Turn that camera off. They grab. They take the camera from Mr. Zizic. It's still running. Critical. It's still running. Red light still on. The police take the camera and then that's the last my client sees of it. It's the last the Zizics see of it.
They go back. They arrest him, take him into custody and he is taken to jail. What you are going to learn is the next day Mr. Bunker, that's an extremely expensive camera, as you can imagine it, goes right to the evidence section and says, I want my property back. They said, sure, Mr. Bunker and they bring out the camera and it's wrapped in bubble paper and they said, here is your camera.
Mr. Bunker says, would you please open the camera for me and so the female clerk takes the bubble paper off. Battery is still on it. He shows her what button to push for it to eject. It ejects. Ain't no tape in it. There is no tape in it.
What you are going to learn is that there is no way, there cannot be a tape and camera like that and red light come on and we will show you tomorrow that's exactly the facts in this case.
So was he trespassing? No, he never even got into the Church of Scientology. He never even got to this area of the Church of Scientology. He was arrested on a public sidewalk. He was not given the opportunity to leave. He was grabbed immediately because the Church of Scientology knew why Mark Bunker was there. They knew he was there to help those people get back that hundred-thousand dollars and by arresting him, it didn't happen that day and that's the evidence in this case. Thank you.
THE COURT: Okay. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. We will see you tomorrow. We will start some evidence tomorrow.
(Whereupon the following proceedings were held out of the presence of the jury.)
THE COURT: Okay I see everybody tomorrow morning. Again, if you can get working on those instructions.
MS. WRONKIEWICZ: Ours are done. We tendered them.
THE COURT: Okay.
(Whereupon, the case was adjourned to Tuesday, February 6, 2001.)
STATE OF ILLINOIS COUNTY OF C 0 0 K
I, GRACE BRENNAN, Official Shorthand Reporter of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Municipal Division, do hereby certify that I reported in shorthand the evidence had in the above-entitled cause and that the foregoing is a true and correct transcript of all the evidence heard.
------ --- Office Circuit Court of Cook County Municipal Division.